Meet Brenda – The Typical Paul Penders Customer

Hi, I am Brenda.
The woman, the Paul Penders Brand Meeting decided is the typical Paul Penders customer.
I have been asked to tell about myself and my life – now and before – to help Paul Penders Co understand how their core-customers are like.
So, here we go! Since it is not nice to ask a woman’s age, let us just say I am somewhere in my thirties – and have been it for a while. I’m married and have a beautiful and healthy twelve year old son.
Though I am a very individual person, my family means everything to me. It is my base, and the place where I get the energy and inspiration to be involved in all my different interests. Without all those interests, my life would not have been the same. I need to be involved in what is happening around me.

Earlier in my life, I was on my way to a quite good education when I met my husband. We met during a discussion evening at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Within half a year we were married, and soon after I was expecting our gorgeous son. So I gave up the education back then, but have plans to go back and finish it soon.

I mentioned my interests. PETA, of course, is one of them. I am also a member of the organization Friends of the Earth. Among our main goals are to protect human and environmental rights, and to protect the planet’s disappearing biodiversity. When I was younger, I used to be a member of the local Vegan Society for a couple of years, but this is something I have given up now.
By nature, I am a very practical minded woman. I recycle whenever possible, and I love to work in my own kitchen garden, growing my own organic vegetables and herbs. I feel just as comfortable in a pair of old jeans as when I dress up, put on my makeup, and, as my husband says “look stunning feminine, in a strong and courageous way!”

      Paul Penders uses certified
      organic ingredients

When it comes to makeup and my other personal health care products, I am very conscious about what I do to my body. If other women want to add chemicals and all kinds of artificial stuff to their skin, well, that is up to them. But not when it comes to my body. I refuse to use anything but natural products, whatever it is shampoo, moisturizer, makeup or sunscreen etc. We are already living in a world full of pollution; a pollution we cannot avoid, because it is in the air we breathe. So why subject your own body to more of that kind?

      LevensESSENTIE Gold ® is an integral
      part of all Paul Penders products

I know some of my friends consider me being a “freak” when I try to explain this to them, but over the years I have managed to make quite a few of them understand the point – and they are all, more or less, using natural products for their personal care now. OK, some of them still use the well-known and very hyped cosmetic products, but I could never fall for all that marketing glitz in the ads myself. Well, not anymore, at least. When I was younger, and did not know much about cosmetics, yes, I admit I used them. But no way now, when I know what is inside the fancy bottles and tubes.
Yes, I want the best for myself and my family, but honestly, I would feel guilty having paid a huge sum of money for a fragrance which is based on artificial stuff. It would not only feel like a betrayal of my body, but it would also be a betrayal of what I believe in – a cleaner and a better world.
As I always say: “We cannot change the world on our own, but if each of us does our part, we have already come a long way”.

      A bright new future

This is the way I would like our wonderful son to grow up. Being aware of the world around him, be it nature, people or politics. Being aware of what we are doing to each other and to the planet Earth. Being aware of what he eats, and what he subjects his body to.

I have been this way myself since I was in my twenties. This is probably why I have come to like companies who have a message to communicate. A real message. Not a message that says you should use this product, because all modern people “who are something” use it. But a message worth listening to. For example, as a member of PETA, I would never even dream about using any kind of personal health care products which has been tested on animals.
At the end, I would like to say that not all artificial things are bad: when it is really cold outside, I do use my fur. My artificial fur!
I hope all this has helped to give a picture of me, Brenda – a Paul Penders customer.
With love,
Related post: Brand Meeting Generates New Ideas
Related link: PETA

The Langkawi Island Beachside Café Conversation about Natural Shampoo

It turns out that old adage is true: “oil and water do not mix” – they form an emulsion! I am sitting in a beachside café, drinking coffee on a gorgeous sunny afternoon with founder Paul Penders. He is explaining to me that as the pace of life has increased dramatically the world over and competitors began to put out “lather, rinse, and go” shampoo brands, people stopped buying “non-emulsified” products to their detriment.
I look at him a bit bewildered. What does he mean? What’s wrong with a quick wash-and-go? And what does this fascinating word, emulsification, mean precisely? As soon as I can get home to my computer, I google “emulsifiers.”

    “In what I call ‘non-emulsified shampoos,’ “ Paul says, “you shake them to use, and then the oil immediately starts separating. Then the oil begins to cling to the hair. If you use emulsifiers, the natural oils are stripped away.”

I start to understand. Like that popular tropical drink – a Tequila Sunrise – liquids of different weights tend to form layers which you have to stir or shake to get them to mix. Stir them up and walk away; in a while, they will separate into layers again. Sort of like what happens to my coffee when the milk is curdled.
Make a vinaigrette — pour water or vinegar and some kind of oil into a bottle — and shake. What happens? Scientists say that shaking breaks up two ‘immiscible’ (non-mixing) liquids into droplets that “statistically distribute” themselves throughout the bottle.

    Oil and water do not mix without using an emulsifier

Add an ‘emulsifier’ and the mixed liquid will stay together as an ‘emulsion.’ But if you do not add an emulsifier, then the liquids will start to move apart again – the heavier ones towards the bottom, the lighter ones floating on top.
So what does the emulsifier really do?
It gravitates to the border where the oil and water or air and water meet and reduces the surface tension so they can’t separate, thereby stabilizing the whole solution so it stays mixed. We hear a lot about ‘emulsified’ foods, creams, lotions, and shampoos. Is this just a fancy term or does it means something for your health and beauty?
Paul tells me that way back in 1984 Paul Penders International began when he started using a non-emulsified shampoo formulation invented by his grandmother. His hair salon customers loved it for years – until “Hurry!” became the watchword of modern life.
In order to give shampoos a long shelf life, commercial manufacturers add emulsifiers – usually detergents or ‘emulsifying waxes.’  These break up oil into droplets indiscriminately – both the oils in the shampoo and the natural oils in your hair. Every time you use an emulsified shampoo, your hair gets stripped of the natural oils that your body produces to protect it.
Emulsifiers also form chemical bonds to oils and water, preventing them from attaching to other things – like your hair. They dilute the oils and other nutrients in the shampoo which might be good for your hair – and the result is most of the ‘good things’ are just washed away in the rinse water. Seems like such a waste of money!
On the other hand — taking Paul’s point — if only people were willing to take an extra minute to shake up a non-emulsified shampoo (like Paul’s grandmother’s formula), then natural oils would be retained. The added herbals and oils in the shampoo would cling to the hair, making it healthier and giving it greater body and sheen. Shake! Lather-rinse-and-go!

    That was then.
    See what is now …
    and what will be next!!


Paul Penders International’s Research & Development team works overtime – the company is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the products. Some years ago, Paul Penders scientists found a gentle emulsifier that doesn’t strip the hair to add to the acclaimed Paul Penders shampoo – keeping up with the times.
Paul Penders R&D is currently at work on a new shampoo based on the old formulation. What’s new is research into the chemistry and uses of indigenous tropical plants as well as studies of the traditional health and beauty practices of the native peoples of Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
In the coming months, you’ll be hearing more about this exciting research and how tropical flowers, herbs, and fruits, and other plants will be used to enhance Paul Penders shampoos and other beauty products in the line. Stay tuned to this blog!
By Teviot Fairservis.



How To Slowdown Brain Ageing

Whether we maintain a healthy sense as we get older is determined by how often our minds are challenged throughout life.
As early as 30 years old you can look at a cross section of a brain and see indications of plaque. Plaque is the distinguishing feature of Alzheimer’s disease. Although the plaque is there, the person is not sick because the brain can compensate for whatever loss there is.
But as this person grows older, it’s important to not let the brain sit idle. To prevent cognitive decline, the brain needs stimulation. It needs to be constantly challenged with new and interesting things.

Our brain is a lazy organ.
Whenever it has the chance to reach some conclusion without making any effort, it will always do so. The one thing which helps our brains circumvent the need for effort is experience. It can draw on past experiences to find solutions to current problems.
Older people have greater amounts of experience. They have seen, heard and done many things several times. There is never really a need to think again and the brain becomes inactive.
We don’t have to remember how to multiply because we have calculators on our cell phones who do it for us.. We don’t have to remember how to multiply because we have calculators on our cell phones that do it for us. We don’t have to learn landmarks or orient ourselves to a new city when visiting a location because a device tells us where to go. These are opportunities for the brain to think and problem-solve but technology has taken its place.
We know that challenging the brain keeps it in better shape. We also know that these challenges have to have an element of novelty to them, and the right level of challenge for each individual.

Regular mental exercises help maintain optimal brain function
Yes, but there are limitations. After doing Sudoku a few times you can become an expert. But when you have become an expert, it becomes a useless exercise because your brain is relying on past experiences and there’s no need to actually think.
What the brain needs above all else is novelty.
The only way our brains register new information is by establishing new contacts between neurons that were not connected before. This is building the network of the brain. Every new experience does this.
Intellectual hobbies like reading interesting books, learning to play a new instrument or speak another language are all fantastic for the brain. Even going to a new place and trying to orient yourself using a map or learning new landmarks is beneficial.

Shlomo Breznitz
Author, Psychologist & Founder of Brain Fitness Software
(Freely translated from interview in NFM)


What Does Organic in Cosmetic Products Really Mean?

A few months ago I wrote about the issue of untruthful marketing claims in the cosmetic business.

Finally, some companies are now being taken to court, which we at Paul Penders believe is the way it should be done.

We mentioned various definitions with the word “organic” yesterday, so let us try to cast some light on the meaning behind the different terms.

The following definitions are used by USDA (the U.S. Department of Agriculture) National Organic Program, when certifying cosmetics and body care products:

100 percent organic: Product must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients.

Organic: Product must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt).

Made with organic ingredients: Products contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients and product label can list as many as three of the organic ingredients or food groups on the principal display panel.

Less than 70 percent organic ingredients: Products cannot use the term organic anywhere on the principal display panel. They may identify the specific ingredients that are USDA-certified as being organically produced on the ingredients statement on the information panel.

    Paul Penders

Let us once more make clear where Paul Penders Co. stands in all this.

We do not use organic certifying bodies, simply because there is no need to.

The certifying bodies are all fighting against each other, rather than being the authorities they are supposed to be, as well as their fees are overpriced.

It is the consumer who ends up paying for all this. But for what?

For over 40 years Paul Penders Co. has been using natural ingredients in ALL our products. These ingredients are ALL certified organic whenever possible.

    LevensESSENTIE Gold® is an integral
    part of all Paul Penders products

Even Paul Penders pigments – used in the new makeup foundation, blushers and eye shadows – are ALL certified organic.

Paul Penders Co. stands for using the HIGHEST quality ingredients possible, no matter from where in the world they are obtained.

These ingredients are grown and produced WITHOUT using chemicals and WITHOUT harming the natural environment in any way.

In addition, we make sure we buy all our ingredients at fair prices from cooperations that support local communities.

Part of the profits of Paul Penders Co. goes to charity or to educational programs.

All the above is backed by more than 40 years of history. For more than four decades, we have holistically produced natural cosmetics whose origin even goes back to the beauty salon of my grandmother in Holland.

What more is there to prove?

Paul Penders

Related articles:
Statement from Paul Penders on Ingredients in Cosmetics, July 2009
Statement from Paul Penders Co. on Certified Organic Standards


Meeting Intriguing People

Simple living and simply being honest – living by a few simple principles so that we can live our lives to their fullest.  How ‘simple is simple,’ one can ask? I think that the beauty of life lies in simplicity — the simple joys of friendship, love, commitment, and most of all, respect. In regards to this, I like meeting new and exciting people — ones who can change the course of our own life for the better. Again, by ‘simple simpleness.’
Last year, my most impressive meeting with someone new was encountering Mr. Gary Goldschneider in person. He is not only an accomplished American classical pianist, but also one of world’s best astrologers — and lives in Amsterdam.
I bought several of his books in San Francisco some 25 years ago. They are available in bookstores worldwide. Since he was giving a piano recital in Amsterdam and I wanted to know more about him, I decided to take the plane from Asia all the way to Europe in order to see him perform rather than just listening to his CDs.
As it happened; I had a wonderful opportunity to meet him. Actually after the concert he came up to me and asked me a few questions. He looked me straight in the eyes and suddenly something like a light went on – like an instant connection – or whatever we want to call it. Mr. Goldschneider and I became friends. He invited me for dinner at his Amsterdam home. And I am proud to announce here he has been invited to perform by the Penang Art Community, in Malaysia.
Last week I met with Doctor Rahman, a professional healer of alternative and local Malay medicine who has studied in Australia and other countries. He lives in Ipoh which is in Malaysia in the State of Perak – a truly mountainous area where you can find indigenous peoples still living according to the old beliefs of centuries ago. They live amidst trees, plants and waterfalls which they believe have healing properties.
I have invited him to come to Langkawi to show him what we do and share some plans I have for new products using herbs and waters coming from the Perak mountains and communities. I had that same feeling of connection when meeting him and right away I knew that this is a contact forever.
Actually he reminded me of my dear friend Dr. Ab Steyn in Holland who was a famous natural healer who people from all over Europe used to consult. I am sure that in a way Ab brought me to Dr. Rahman. I know by heart that something good will come from it.

Then last month I met Teviot Fairservis, a most interesting American woman living on Langkawi UNESCO Geopark Island, the same as me.  Only a few Americans happen to live in Langkawi and they seem to be perfectly delighted with this wonderful and unique environment. As I am myself American (but Dutch born), I was eager to meet Teviot after I discovered that she writes for www.langkawi-gazette.comI was stunned by a great article about our magical island.
We had coffee in her apartment near the beach, together with her 2 cats. It was very pleasant and I connected very well with her. She is truly intelligent, a great organizer and has a professional background in non-profit administration.  She has a great sense of humor!  I wondered even more about what an American woman alone would be seeking by living in this beautiful paradise located on the other side of the world. I got my answer and much more than I bargained for.
To keep it short…..
Teviot agreed to be one of our writers.

She will handle the Paul Penders blog and will start doing research on local herbs and natural cosmetics related with what we do and represent on this beautiful Langkawi island. Actually her first article will appear on the Paul Penders blog very soon about one of my first products which I developed some 40 years ago — the “non-emulsified shampoo”–  which we are considering bringing back in its same simple form as it was decades ago!
Meeting wonderful people is exciting and actually very simple and truly can enrich our lives. To me it is the perfect example of ongoing learning and a way to gain more happiness. While trying to lessen my own ego each day, I wonder often at the beauty of life, love, and the cultivation of respect – the simple things.